Aspiring chef River McCluskey, 9, was headed to Ottawa Oct. 21 to celebrate his big win in Kid Food Nation’s national recipe contest.

McCluskey will represent Nunavut and show off his Baked Arctic Char with Citrus Relish, joining 25 other winners at a special gala event.

“River has been cooking since he could stand on his own. We run a weekly cooking club at his school and we have several recipes we complete each year. Pizza, meatballs, quiche, etc. But his recipe for the citrus relish for this contest is something he developed on his own over a period of several weeks, fine tuning it,” stated mom Kerry McCluskey.

“We went to Cuba a few years ago and they served a fresh relish with their beach burgers. Earlier this year, he decided he wanted to create his own recipe to serve with Arctic char. He kept working on it and revising it until he found a combination of ingredients that he was satisfied with. He perfected it on March break during a family vacation at Blue Mountain.”

Hundreds of youth from the ages of seven to 13 entered the national recipe contest, which asked them to share “their love of good food by submitting original, healthy recipes that highlight their culture or their Canadian pride,” stated Jared Morrow, senior writer and media relations manager for the Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada.

McCluskey’s recipe will also be featured in the Kid Food Nation cookbook, set to be distributed nationwide later this fall.

– Michele LeTourneau


Drawing for polar bear tags


There are daily draws for 24-hour polar bear tags in Iglulik. Hunters whose names are randomly chosen have a full day to slay a bear.

There were four tags available from the outset but one of them was accounted for on Oct. 13, when a male bear was harvested approximately five kilometres from the community, said Jacob Malliki, manager of Iglulik’s Hunters and Trappers Association (HTA).

“It was down at the Point,” Malliki said. “Apparently they were hunting seals and whatnot. They got to shore (in their boat) and they could harvest that polar bear.”

At the HTA’s annual general meeting on Oct. 27, it will be decided how the remaining Foxe Basin polar bear tags will be distributed. There will be between nine and 12 tags left over, depending on how many of the 24-hour draws lead to kills.

– Derek Neary


Preparing for the square dance showdown

Gjoa Haven

Elizabeth Anavilok is organizing the 10th annual square dance showdown in Gjoa Haven from Nov. 22 to 25.

“I’m trying to aim for something big,” said Anavilok who has been involved with the Amauligak Dancers for the past decade.

The prize amounts haven’t been announced yet. Community bingos are part of the fundraising effort, she said.

There will be plenty of local entries – with eight or 12 dancers each – and teams from other communities have been inquiring about participating in the event, she said. Categories will be open to adults and youth, she added.

Weekly practices are held on Tuesdays in Gjoa Haven with a live band at the community hall. Anavilok said she was surprised to see some children as young as three to five years old learning to square dance on Oct. 16.

“They’re so tiny. It was really touching yesterday when I saw small, little ones that will be in the showdown,” she said. “They’re into the music. They were not shy.”

– Derek Neary


Paatsaali School corresponds with the world


Paatsaali School in Sanikiluaq put an offer out on their Twitter followers Oct. 12.

“Send us a PM with your address if you would like to receive this postcard in the mail,” the school wrote.

Principal Tim Hoyt said he got the idea while trying to de-clutter his office.

“I thought this would be a good way to get rid of them and also serve as an informal survey of interest from our Twitter followers,” he said.

“Response has been positive. Most are Canadian, but we’ve also sent one to Spain and one to New York.”

“I can’t find the button to send you a PM, but I’d love one of these (and I’ll send you one from Newfoundland and Labrador),” wrote one follower.

Several other followers are offering the same – a postcard from their locations.

Hoyt says the school has sent out 57 postcards so far.

– Michele LeTourneau


Quest for arena ice

Kinngait/Cape Dorset

Boys’ and girls’ after-school soccer programs are on the go at the new Peter Pitseolak School and once again having access to a second, larger gymnasium is a welcome addition, said Will Sandoval, the community’s recreation director. Soccer was limited to the Sam Pudlat Elementary School gym prior to the new high school opening several weeks ago.

Beyond soccer, Sandoval is already preparing the community’s arena for ice. He’s wishing for better luck than last year when the cooling system broke down and delayed the opening of the rink until Jan. 24.

“We’re hoping to open early, we’re hoping mid-November,” he said last week.

– Derek Neary


New ED for Baffin chamber


The Baffin Regional Chamber of Commerce has filled the position left open when Chris West resigned from the organization’s top job.

West’s last day was Aug. 24.

“I’m pleased to announce our new executive director, Murtaza Gurmani,” stated manager of events and member services Laura Nevin in an email Oct. 16.

“Murtaza Gurmani is a professional chartered accountant and has served in private and government sectors for many years, including two separate postings in Nunavut previously,” according to the chamber news release.

“He is passionate about the business community and the mission of the chamber and looks forward to helping to add valuable programs and educational opportunities to the members while promoting business growth in Baffin Region and across Nunavut.”

West served as executive director for six years.

“Chris worked tirelessly to ensure the chamber was successful in all its events and especially the turnaround to ensure it is in a solid financial position,” the chamber had previously stated, adding he’d been involved in one form or another for more than 16 years.

– Michele LeTourneau

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